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Marketing

10

Jun

Racist in the West, Cool in Japan

By Mika Fukuda
Intern, CarterJMRN K.K.
 

From Gwen Stefani’s “Harajuku Girls” backup dancers to Katy Perry’s geisha get-up for the 2013 American Music Awards, what has been criticised in the West as racial appropriation of Japanese culture for the sake of entertainment seems to have had an entirely opposite reception in Japan.

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14

Oct

New Electric Era?

Tesla must adapt its vehicles to succeed in Japan

By Dominic Carter

 

Anyone paying attention to the stock market over the past six months will have borne witness to the incredible run up of the price of electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors, Inc.

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27

Jun

Time for a Change

By Dominic Carter

 

After years of reporting on a Japanese consumer in retreat, we believe we are starting to see a sea change.

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06

May

Cool Japan

By Dominic Carter

 

On a recent business trip to Singapore I was taken aback when told by someone well connected in the American business community there, “Japan? Oh that’s just a niche market, nobody’s that interested in it anymore”. What a wake up call for anyone who has devoted his career to this market! With its tendency to control and limit foreign goods and influences, it’s fair to say that Japan seems to have worked very hard to earn this position as a niche player. To anyone living in this huge market, the description as “niche” seems, frankly, ridiculous. However when you consider the Everest-style learning curve required and all the challenges of growing a foreign-owned business here, it’s easy to see how some would think of Japan as a large, but largely irrelevant market.

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16

Apr

Japan’s “Over 50s” Garner Attention From Marketers

By Debbie Howard

 

As in the U.S., the growing number of those aged 50 and above represents terrific potential for marketing everything from financial and investment products to preventative health and nutritional products to hobby-related sports and travel – practically any product or service imaginable.

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21

Jan

Rediscovering Wabisabi

By Dominic Carter

 

One of the first things you hear about when discussing Japanese design and aesthetic values is the idea of “wabisabi’. It is a concept that tends to pervade many aspects of what we think of being unique about classic Japanese design, and is a key part of the culture. However when asking a Japanese what wabisabi actually means you will get a wide range of answers.

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24

Nov

Stingy Japan

By Dominic Carter

 

There’s no polite way of saying it. It seems to me lately that Japan is turning into a nation of cheapskates. But, truth be told, Japanese have always adopted a defensive stance when it comes to spending money. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to establish a relationship of trust with Japanese buyers, before they will part with their or their company’s “hard-earned”. Building trust and status have always been the prerequisites for brands to entice people in this country to open their wallets. And when those prerequisites are met, until recently, they have spent big. For example, Japan’s luxury business for many years weathered the long-term national economic decline. Consumers simply made economies in other areas of their budget so that they could splurge on whatever totemic item that was flavour of the month.

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24

Nov

Facebook & Social in Japan

By Dominic Carter

 

At the beginning of 2011 The New York Times wrote a piece with a headline “Facebook Wins Relatively Few Friends in Japan”. At the time it seemed like Facebook had failed to ignite anything like the kind of addictive behaviour it had everywhere else in the developed world. Although Twitter had been growing strongly, for more involved interactions with their peers Japanese seemed to be studiously ignoring Facebook in favour of locally developed platforms, led by Mixi. What a difference a year or two makes. Fast-forward to the end of 2012 and Facebook appears to be catching on like wildfire, as it has in country after country around the world. So, Japan is not so different after all?

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21

Jul

Asakatsu

By Dominic Carter

 

One of the first things that struck me when I came to Japan as a young manager was how difficult it was to get people to leave the office at anything like what seemed to me to be a normal time. As many foreign managers will attest, this tendency to hang around the office often didn’t seem to have much to do with productivity. Rather, it was as if people were deliberately working slowly – unwilling to leave work unfinished till the next day, afraid to let the side down by leaving the office before 8, or just suffering from a free-floating anxiety about not being at one’s desk or away from their colleagues. Seeing this behavior as having no basis in rationality I took it on as a personal mission to force people to leave the office at what I considered a relatively late 6 o’clock. After having had a few semi-heated discussions with my team who told me I had no right to tell them not to work (and realizing I was being completely ignored), I gave up, perplexed. At least if any of my overseas colleagues thought I was allowing archaic and abusive work practices to fester, like any number of Japanese prime-ministers, I could put my hand on my heart and say I’d tried my best at reform!

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21

May

Wishing Upon a Star?

By Dominic Carter

 

I have been following with interest the prospective launch of Jetstar Japan. Jetstar, a subsidiary of Australia’s flag-carrier Qantas, is widely recognized as being one of the most successful low-cost airline start-ups in the world. The new “Jetstar family” airline, which is a joint venture between Japan Airlines, Mitsubishi and Qantas is expected to start flying this summer.

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